TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has condemned the unwarranted massacre of over ten persons in Kono Bo-ue community in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
MOSOP called on the security agencies to immediately go after those involved in the dastardly act, which occurred at the weekend.
A statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Sunny Zorvah, called for punitive measures to be applied to track down the perpetrators of the heinous act.
Our correspondent gathered that the incident occurred a few days after multi-stakeholders’ meeting on security was held to tackle the menace in the LGA.
Zorvah stated: “Coming few days after what we thought was a successful strategic multi-stakeholders’ meeting at the instance of the Khana local government authorities, the incidents are so disheartening that MOSOP is of the view that something more drastic with utmost sincerity and commitment of all categories of leaders and security personnel, be brought on board to deal with the escalating insecurity situation in Ogoniland.
“This killing is one too many and it is quite sad and unfortunate that situations like these are allowed to continue in our communities without the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators – both the criminals and sponsors of the unjustifiable massacre of innocent citizens.
“Reports have it that unidentified gunmen, on Friday, invaded part of Bori town, shooting sporadically and killed one person, while on Sunday about 20 persons were reportedly shot dead in Kono Bo-ue community.
“How can one explain the reason for the killing of about 20 innocent natives in a community that is not at war with her neighbours and does not have a report of intra-communal conflict at the time of the incident?
“We use this opportunity to again, appeal to the Federal and Rivers State governments to carry out the fight against gang wars and criminality with demonstrable vigour and utmost priority and to decisively, with no exceptions, bring to book the culprits to avert further incidents.
“While we call on the people of the area to remain law-abiding, we urge the community and traditional leaders to work with the security agencies to initiate actions that would expose those behind the insecurity situation and bring back lasting peace and normalcy to the various communities,” he lamented.
Sorvah assured: “On our part, we would continue our peace programme, in partnership with relevant authorities, particularly the churches, security experts and paramount rulers in the area, hoping for a positive outcome in the coming days.
“MOSOP sympathises with the people of Kono-Bo-ue community, particularly, the families of the victims, and calls on the youths and community leaders to cooperate with security agencies in their quest to restore peace in the community,” he expressed.
Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, has confirmed the incident to journalists, saying that five persons were killed by gunmen.
Omoni added that the bodies were picked up by the police at different locations in the area, adding that police have restored normalcy in the troubled area.
“When the incident happened, the Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel, mobilised men to the area and peace has been restored.